Ballydoyle Honey, one of the greatest bitches of all time, has been retired from racing and has headed home with co-owner Alison Coxon.
She announced her arrival on the racing scene in the best way possible when taking the prestigious Red Mills & Track Supporters Club Unraced Stake at Clonmel. She ran out a comfortable three length winner in the Final, showing us all the raw power and pace she became accustomed for.
An unsuccessful campaign at the Con Kirby, making the third round, followed soon after but this worked in our favour as we concentrated our efforts on the Healthcare and Transport Services Puppy Oaks at Shelbourne. She took to Shelbourne like the proverbial duck to water and the Second Round saw her become the fastest bitch ever to grace the circuit as she romped to a six and half length victory in a phenomenal 27.86. She suffered defeat in the Semi final but returned to winning ways when it mattered most; in the Final. Leaving it late, showing her huge finishing power, she got up to win by a short head and claim the victory from Skywalker Pearl.
The Sporting Press Irish Oaks was next on the agenda, where she was looking to complete a historic double of the Puppy and Irish Classic, The Oaks, at Shelbourne. She didn’t disappoint as she progressed through the competition unbeaten. Posting another sensational 27.95 run in the Third Round, she was writing herself into the record books again. She was made to work hard in the final by litter sister and kennel mate, Hovex Princess. She prevailed in a ding dong battle, getting up by three quarters of a length to be crowned Oaks heroine.
Staying at Shelbourne, we went into the Irish Derby in great form. Unfortunately she came up short and exited in the Third Round. However, she showed the thousands in attendance for the Derby Final what she was made of as she sent the crowd into raptures winning the BoyleSports Supporting Irish Sport Open Bitch on Derby Final night. A sensational performance, as she ran out a four lengths victor, on the biggest night of the year.
Stepping up 600y had always looked inevitable and we tried our luck at the Billy Mulvaney Snr and Jnr Memorial 600. She wowed everyone with a sensational Track Record breaking run in the opening round, only to find herself still on the losing end! She was beaten by the brilliant Laughill Blake on the night who also broke the clock, getting the better of Honey by a head in one of the greatest races in recent times. However, Honey prevailed in the Final as she overcame trouble at the opening turn and produced her power packed finish to take the title.
Looking to round 2015 off in the best way possible, and looking to make history again, we targeted the Gain Dog Foods Christmas Oaks, the treble of Shelbourne Oaks had never been done before. Like the Sporting Press Oaks in the Summer, she went through it unbeaten culminating in a 27.94 run in the Final as she won by a length and half in another top quality bitches race.
Her achievements on the track were honoured by the IGB as she was announced IGB Bitch Of The Year 2015. A very deserving title and one she was fitting of following her unparalleled year.
Early 2016 saw her contest the Ladbrokes Easter Cup. Despite tasting defeat in the opening round she posted a sensational winning time of 29.34 in the Second Round, the fastest of all winners on the night. Nature called and a seasonal rest saw her withdrawn from the Easter Cup.
Coming back just in time to attempt the defence of her Sporting Press Irish Oaks crown, she took a couple runs to come to hand but ran out a sensational 27.98 winner in the Third Round again. She struggled to land a blow in the Semi Final and was eliminated behind eventual Derby Runner Up Holycross Leah. We kept her ticking over with the next target the Irish Derby again. She duly won the opening round in a fine 29.49, coming home five lengths to the good but went out in the next round as she found trouble round the opening turn.
October saw her win her final race as she won the opening round of the EHS Catering at Shelbourne Open 575. The Final saw her encounter more trouble, and despite running on late she was unable to get there in time.
The decision was made that the Night Of Stars would be her finale on the track and her glittering career would come to a close. We considered the idea of stepping her up to the Track Bookmakers 750 but as she hadn’t run over the distance decided to stay with the Droopys Nidge @ Stud Night of Stars Open 600. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be on the night and she badly hampered on the run up which put paid to any chances in a top quality race. She showed her determination and strength as she ran on for the runner up place on the night.
More videos and images of Honey in action, and from the presentation rostrum, can be found in our media galleries or by clicking here.